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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Lights ~ When to light them?

Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, is credited with lighting the first Christmas tree with candles.  The story goes ~ while on his way home one dark winter's night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home.  By using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree, he duplicated the starlight. The Christmas tree was not widely used in Britain until the 19th century. In the 1820s, it was brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans.

One can only image the challenges of an open flame on a tree that has been cut and is slowly drying out. Thankfully today we have electricity and a (safe) variety of light strings from white lights to full and multiple colours to choose from.
The purpose of the Christmas Tree originally was to celebrate CHRISTMAS, traditionally Catholics did not put the Christmas tree up until after noon on Christmas eve.  With retailers capitalizing and commercializing the celebrations of Christmas by lining store shelves with Christmas decorations sometimes as early as October, consumers are forced  tempted to purchase their decorations earlier and earlier, for fear the selection will be gone. Think Charlie Brown Christmas tree. 

With the ever increasing commercialization many Christians today spend the entire season of ADVENT celebrating Christmas rather than preparing for it.  At the HHL home, we do put up decorations and tree before Christmas eve (guilty like the rest). This year however, we have not put the star on the tree, we will wait until Christmas eve. When little one's ask (you know they notice everything) "where is the star?"The door to conversation about waiting till Christmas eve will open. 

Great example of the effects of commercialized Christmas!!!

So, HHL readers ~ 
When do you put up Christmas decorations, tree, turn on lights?


  1. Good morning dearest heart!!!!!!!!! Oh how I love the way you provide insight to our traditions......and that is what they are; things that keep a pattern flowing to help us focus on who we are...and thank YOU for coming to visit the theatre! I hope you go to see Doré's creations; they are STUNNING! Anita


  2. What a lovely idea, saving the star for Christmas Eve. I LOVE it and might join you. I've actually been looking for a special star for years now. Maybe this will be the year...and now I'm not as rushed. ;)

    PS-I like to think of Martin Luther as an Evangelical revolutionist. :)
    Love and blessings, my dear.

  3. It is true that Christmas seems to be coming earlier and earlier. People worried about not finding the items they want for their trees and decorating. It has become so commercialized that I feel the true meaning is lost.

    We have not put our tree up yet but I was toying with putting it up today. Usually the lights are turned on after it is decorated. I certainly am one of those who thinks "less is better".


  4. We usually put our lights and tree up mid-November, only because we have our Christmas party at the end of the month. I turn on the tree lights any time I'm in the room, a dark Christmas tree just ain't right!

  5. Hello dear friend,

    I don't like to put up Christmas decorations too early. Usually I start with decorating after December 5th (a national holiday here in Holland). I think I might begin on Tuesday. Love the idea of not putting up the star! Happy Holidays!!

  6. We get our tree 2 weeks before Christmas, hey, that is coming soon!
    I started an Amaryllis bulb (bought another one) that will likely bloom at Christmas. It is called "Razzle Dazzle".

  7. I start decorating inside early in November. The tree goes up the week before Thanksgiving and the outside decorations go up the Sat. and Sun. after Thanksgiving. It takes me almost two weeks to decorate..I just do a little at a time..and I truly enjoy the house all decorated for Christmas! I could never start in Dec. because by the time I put it all up, two weeks later it would be time to take it all down again. :( It's a magical time of year for me and I'm like a little kid. I have such wonderful memories of Christmas as a child. This is my favorite time of year and I just want to enjoy it while it's here. Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

  8. Sending the male children out next weekend to cut down a tree. Then the grandkids will all come over and do their magic! Every ornament will be about 2' from the ground in one big bunch....lol

  9. I usually put the tree up Thanksgiving night, with all that goes on around here anymore, the scheduling varies, I love decorating for the holidays, this year I'm scaling back. Thank you for swinging by to say hello. hugs ~lynne~

  10. Growing up in a Swedish Lutheran home, we did a lot more waiting for Christmas than I seem to do now.... I love the sentiment here and, as always, your blog is gorgeous!
    Karen @www.victoria-nouveau.blogspot.com

  11. We've been involved in high school football for the past 7 years up until the first weekend in December, so I usually wait until the 2nd week to decorate. This year, though, I'm on strike! YS put up the tree yesterday, but I'm not stressing about it this year!

  12. We put up the decorations & tree right after Thanksgiving then don't take them down until my birthday in January (the tree, at least). I want to bask in the tree's glow as long as possible! This year we started a week early - I just couldn't wait. It's all about torturing the Alpha with the snowmen (heh heh).

  13. Dearest Celia,

    We have not put up any Christmas things yet... We looked at Costco, in Atlanta on the 6th at the nice tree for $ 249.00 pre-lit and beautiful but a bit steep for us. Also we're limited on space for putting it...
    Your history on the old customs is very well documented and valuable to lots of readers.
    Lots of love to you all and stay warm with that fresh snow!



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